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Design and

Land Use Plan &



Permitting New Operations and Facilities



Depending upon the future use, a new tenant or landowner may be required to seek approval for the new operation. The nature of these requirements is not de-pendant on the previous land use or site activities, but solely on the nature of the activities planned for that facility.

Two key pieces of legislation govern the establishment and operation of industrial and commercial activities in Nova Scotia: the Activities Designation Regulations and the Environmental Assessment Regulations. The latter is concerned with the establishment of a new facility or activity, while the former regulates ongoing industrial operations. These regulations are described below.



Activities Designation Regulations


The operation of industrial and commercial facilities in Nova Scotia is governed by the Activities Designation Regulations made pursuant to the Environment Act. This document lists the types of activities that require a Certificate of Approval from NSDEL, such as chemical manufacturing, foundry operations, bulk petroleum storage, as well as some types of clean-up activities, such as the treatment of contaminated soil. A complete list of activities can be found in the regulations

The permit categories are as follows:

  • Division I - Water Approvals
  • Division II - Pesticide Approvals
  • Division III - Municipal Waste Approvals
  • Division IV - Dangerous Goods/Waste Dangerous Goods/Salvage Yard Approvals
  • Division V - Industrial Approvals
  • Division VI - Other Approvals

The approval process consists of the preparation of an application by the proponent, followed by a review of the application by senior NSDEL staff. The staff person may then accept the application and issue a Certificate of Approval, or reject the application based on specific concerns. If the application is rejected, the proponent may then modify the application to address NSDEL concerns. No public consultation or review takes place as part of the application process, although the final Industrial Approval document is available to the public.



Environmental Assessment Regulations


The Environmental Assessment Regulations outline the regulatory and public review components of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process.(http://www.gov.ns.ca/just/regulations/regs/envassmt.htm).
“Undertakings” designated under the regulations are separated into two Categories: Class 1 and Class 2. Class 1 undertakings tend to be smaller both in scale and in potential environmental effects. Class 2 undertakings include such things as manufacturing plants and open pit mines.

The EIA process consists of the preparation of an EIA report by the proponent, according to the documented procedures and guidelines laid out by NSDEL. Following submission of the EIA report, the document is made available for public review and comment. Public concern, as well as issues raised by various government departments, is then presented to the proponent who is required to address the concerns either through clarification, or by modifying the proposed under-taking. For Class 1 undertaking, the EIA process usually takes two to three months. For a Class 2 undertaking, the process can be expected take upwards of one year.



Additional Considerations

  Additional permits may also be required from NSDEL or other government departments for specific re-development activities such as the installation of wastewater discharge pipes, or infilling of water bodies.

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